The Salem Witch Trials


<b>A Time of Fear</b>
Life in the colony of Massachusetts in 1692 was little like life today. The colony was small. Its population was scattered. People were in constant danger. Crop failure, disease, harsh winters, and wars with American Indians made life difficult.
Christianity was at the heart of every community. Massachusetts had many Puritans. Puritans were very strict in their Christian beliefs. They believed that God and the devil played active roles in their lives. Good fortune was a blessing from God. Bad fortune was considered the work of the devil. To the Puritans, the devil often tried to make people question their faith.
The Puritans believed that some people struck deals with the devil. In exchange for doing evil, the devil gave them powers. These people were called witches. Puritans believed witches' actions could destroy good Christian people and communities. Many said there was only one way to deal with a witch. A convicted witch had to die.
The Puritans have long believed in witches. But in 1692 everything changed. For reasons that even today are not fully clear, 1692 marked the beginning of a widespread witchhunt. The accusations were centered in the Village of Salem. Two Salem girls, Betty Paris and Abigail Williams, begin to accuse others in the Village of using the devil's powers to torment them. Many people were arrested and put on trial. Salem was the most famous Massachusetts Village to round up accused witches. But it wasn't the only one. Over the next year, fear of witchcraft crew. Neighbors accused neighbors. Family members desperately tried to prove the innocence of their loved ones. Clergyman, community leaders, and court officers called magistrates struggles to understand what was happening.
Life in Salem and other Puritan villages during this time was difficult. For the accused, their lives and reputations hung in the balance. Accusers had to worry about the consequences of their actions. How people viewed the events taking place would have depended largely on their situation. Were they accused? Or did they believe that someone else might be a witch?
Prepare for your adventure as a young woman defending herself against accusations of witchcraft
I'm ready! Go!